Our own beliefs are hard to see because the strongest ones become subconscious. Chatter in the back of our mind.
Trouble is, you can’t question what you don’t notice.
In order to be viable, this has to be reliable…?
Yesterday, I read Medium’s partner program update and I felt proud. It said 9.3% of active authors earned over $100 and I felt great (on top of the world!) because I made way far and above that. So that felt good... until it didn’t.
Then the pay announcement came in and I crashed. Hard. I earned less than half the last time. But it’s not about what I earned…
My instant reaction to the pay announcement was —
“Wow… in order to be viable, this has to be reliable.”
Except, I noticed what I was thinking.
And I asked myself… what the hell is reliable? People get laid off all the time. People lose jobs every day. There’s no job security in the world anymore. What the hell does reliable even mean? You know who I can rely on? Me.
Catching that thought got me wondering…
What else do you believe that’s bullpucky?
We live in a world that reports all bad stuff, all the time. Corporate corruption, corporate greed, political posturing, lies, fake news, murder and mayhem. It’s real easy to get sucked into negative beliefs.
Like, all corporations are greedy and corrupt, right?
Except, I read about a corporation — right here on medium — that has six-hour work days and generous time off. And another that encourages employees to bring dogs to work to create a nicer working environment. Yet another that is working to empower marginalized people.
Like, only the people with a ton of followers do well here, right?
Well, no. The #1 popular post (right now, anyway) was written by someone with less than 4K followers. And that happens ALL.THE.TIME.
Like, no one likes your art/writing/whatever you do, right?
There’s no shortage of people writing “no one cares” stories here, that’s for sure. But are you sure that’s what it is? Because maybe it’s that the people who’d love what you do don’t know you exist. Maybe it’s not so much about whether they like it, but whether they know you’re out there?
Dogma and Status Quo are our biggest hurdles
Together, they’re the most terrible twosome. Dogma, of course, is the collective hive mind that tells us how things work in this world. Pair it with status quo (the existing state of affairs) and holy hell. Together, they can make you feel really stuck. The only way out is to question your own beliefs.
Most of us get life kind of backwards.
Because here’s the thing. Our thoughts, feelings and actions define our results. But we often put them in the wrong order. Let me show you…
What most of us do:
Thoughts → Feelings → Actions = Results → (back around to the beginning)
We put actions in the wrong place. We think of our lousy results and those thoughts affect how we feel. Then our negative feelings affect our actions, which leads to bad results, which leads to more negative feelings. It’s a vicious cycle that never ends.
What we should do:
Thoughts → Actions → Feelings = Results → (back around to the beginning)
Think of something you can try. Do it. You don’t have to “feel it” to do it. There’s lots of days we go to work when we don’t feel like it. We change the diaper when we don’t feel like it. Just DO the thing.
Having done it will make you feel good. And suddenly, the cycle works a little better. It becomes a spiral upwards instead of a spiral downwards.
Sometimes, a kick in the butt is what we need…
I know I did. I firmly believe when we’re getting off track, life gives you a little nudge first. If you don’t notice the nudge, you get a kick in the butt. And if you don’t heed the kick in the butt, you get a brick to the head.
The question isn’t whether there’s signs along the way. There always are. The only question is, what will it take to make you stop and pay attention?
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. — Steve Jobs (1955–2011)